This lesson plan provides a path for students to learn about OneNYC, a climate action plan for New York City, and then create a model climate action plan at the local level.
As a whole-class project, students will design a digital survey relating to climate issues and solutions, collect data from the survey and use it to write improvement goals and plans, and present their write-ups to stakeholders.
Having the purpose of improving their school promotes student buy-in and gives their work concrete meaning.
This project-based lesson will keep students engaged, and small-group and whole-group collaboration will foster a sense of community among students.
Students may need more vocabulary words defined than are provided in the vocabulary list.
Students should already have a basic knowledge of climate change.
If using Survey Monkey or Google Forms, ensure students are familiar with these tools.
Students should understand how to use spreadsheets to organize data.
English teachers can have students read the report for OneNYC, annotate with highlighters, and summarize the document.
English teachers can also utilize the lesson to teach digital literacy since part of the activity involves designing a digital survey and spreadsheet.
Social Studies teachers can include this resource as part of a larger unit on international climate policy since there are links to the Paris Agreement and the United States Climate Alliance.
SEL teachers can use goal-setting as it relates to city planning as a starting point for a personal goal-setting activity, and it can connect to climate change solutions at the household level.
Civics teachers can relate the lesson to civic responsibility at the local level and also have students research local sustainability laws.
Teachers utilizing the mock press conference strategy for the presentation can collaborate with journalism classes or the school's newspaper.
Students who speak more than one language can be responsible for creating or translating the survey for ELL students.
This resource from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection aids students in understanding the OneNYC 2050 plan before tasking them to engage their school community and create OneNYC for the school. The linked OneNYC 2050 summary presents the city’s goals and provides a framework for students to organize their surveys. The OneNYC 2050 plan is a broad vision, requiring teachers to ensure students stay climate-focused by introducing the discussion questions before they begin their work. This resource is recommended for teaching.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.10.6-8 Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.
D2.Civ.13.6-8 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
D2.Civ.11.9-12 Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
ETS1: Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.